Mansfield resident charged for alleged participation in drug trafficking

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A Mansfield resident has been charged along with 30 more individuals for alleged participation in drug-trafficking throughout the Burlington County area.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpentio announced on Sept. 26 that federal criminal charges have been filed against 31 individuals for their roles as members, associates and suppliers of multiple drug-trafficking conspiracies that distributed cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin in the Burlington County area. Carpenito said in a statement that 28 defendants were arrested on Sept. 26, and that one suspect was already in state custody, while two still remain at large.

One of the charged individuals was 35-year-old Michael Linares of Mansfield Township. Attorney officials said that Linares faces one count of conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, a second count of conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute a detectable amount of cocaine and a third count of conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of crack cocaine.

The first complaint charges 20 defendants in two overlapping drug conspiracies involving the distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine in the Burlington County area, according to officials. This organization is allegedly operated by Herbert Mays of Willingboro, officials reported.

The second complaint charges 12 defendants with three interrelated drug conspiracies involving the distribution of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin, according to officials. Talib Conway of Philadelphia is described in the complaint as a leading member of this organization and one defendant, Teron Huggins, is charged in both complaints, officials reported.

“The defendants charged in this case were responsible for moving large quantities of dangerous drugs through the streets of Burlington County and elsewhere,” Carpenito said in a statement. “Taking this number of people off the street required a massive and coordinated effort by our office and other federal and state law enforcement organizations. These arrests should go a long way toward making our streets safer.”

According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court, between July and September 2019, the defendants and others engaged in multiple and overlapping narcotics conspiracies that operated primarily throughout Burlington County, which include Willingboro, Burlington City, Burlington Township, Bordentown Township, Edgewater Park, Pemberton and Mount Laurel. They also sought to profit from the distribution of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin, according to officials.

Officials reported that through the interception of telephone calls and text messages pursuant to court-authorized wiretap orders, and other investigative techniques, law enforcement learned that defendants obtained regular supplies of cocaine from conspirators in the Philadelphia area, then redistributed that cocaine, portions of which defendants converted into crack cocaine, to distributors, sub-dealers and end-users throughout Burlington County and elsewhere.

During the wiretap portion of the investigation, law enforcement reported that they intercepted numerous communications among the conspirators discussing cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin quality and availability, pricing, packaging, quantity and customer satisfaction.

The counts of conspiracy to distribute at least five kilos of cocaine carry a maximum penalty of life in prison and a fine of $1 million. The counts of conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine carry a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and a maximum fine of $10 million. The counts of conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin carry a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a fine of $5 million. The counts of conspiracy to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine carry a maximum potential penalty of 40 years in prison and a fine of $5 million.

Carpenito credited multiple law enforcement officials throughout the state and county areas, which included assistance from the detectives of the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, officers of the Burlington Township Police Department, officers of the Florence Police Department and officers of the Bordentown Township Police Department.